Belize: Culture & Ecology

Belize Sun

The Program

Operation Groundswell’s Belize: culture and ecology program dives beneath the surface of the Caribbean Sea and hikes deep into the jungles of the Yucatan to explore how culture and ecologies have shaped each other and how Belize is mobilizing both in its efforts to confront the challenges of a changing climate. We’ll go from the turquoise waters of Belize’s iconic coast to the dense jungles of its interior and see first-hand how these unique plant, animal and human communities work together. Belize also sits at the intersection between the Caribbean, Latin and Indigenous cultures, so, we’ll immerse ourselves in traditional Garifuna, mestizo, and Mayan communities while working with local fishermen, farmers, activists, and ecologists to explore the diversity of people and perspectives that pour from this unique corner of the world.

Be prepared to walk, hike, swim, and snorkel around one of the most abundant biospheres in the world while learning how culture and ecology connect and how we as ethical travellers can make a positive impact here and at home.

Explore Belize alongside other students, a UTM staff member and our partners from Operations Groundswell


  • From the turquoise waters of Caribbean coast to the lush hills of the jungle interior and see how culture and ecology come together in one of the richest biospheres in the world. 
  • Visit both Garifuna and Indigenous Maya communities and immerse yourself in Belize’s cultural diversity and distinctive vibe.
  • Snorkel the second largest barrier reef in the world and confront the challenges related to climate change for this unique ecosystem.
  • Hike through one of Belize’s amazing natural reserves and see dramatic waterfalls, ancient Mayan ruins, monkeys, armadillos, and over 200 species of birds.


  • Dates: Saturday, February 17 to Sunday, February 25, 2018* (Exact dates will be confirmed in October 2017 once a flight path is chosen.)
  • Estimated Cost: $2800-$3500 (a more precise amount will be posted once the flight plan is confirmed.)
  • Need to Know: It is VERY likely that this trip will travel through the USA on a flight connection. Flights to Belize are limited. While it is typically our practice to use flight plans that do not travel through the USA, we may not be able to avoid it in this case. STUDENTS SHOULD ENSURE THEY ARE ABLE TO TRAVEL THROUGH THE USA IF THEY APPLY TO THIS TRIP.
  • Contact Us: We encourage students who are interested in this trip to contact us before applying for the trip so that we can discuss the cost and the flight plan.

Important Dates

Participants must be available on the dates specified below for the pre departure and post-departure sessions as a requirement of participation in this experience. Plus, participation in the pre-departure sessions and reflection after the experience will get the experience recognized on the Co-Curricular Record!

Date Description
Monday, September 11 to Monday, October 2 Application Period
November - exact date to be determined Pre Departure Orientation: Creating Connections
January - exact date to be determined Pre Departure Session: A World of Opportunity
January and February - exact dates to be determined Safety Abroad Mandatory Session at UTM (students can also participate in sessions offered at St George) 
Saturday, February 17 to Sunday, February 25, 2018 Travel Dates
March - exact date to be determined Saturday approximately 4 hours Post Trip Session: The good, the bad and the travel bug


Our partners at Operations Groundswell will lead you through a truly immersive 8 day experience filled with planned daily excursions, educational programming and opportunities to interact with the local community. Itinerary coming soon!

Applications for this experience are active from September 11 - October 2, 2017.